How Lily Gladstone's nomination could impact future Oscars, Native American representation

BySandy Kenyon OTRC logo
Monday, March 4, 2024
How Lily Gladstone's historic nomination could impact future Oscars
Sandy Kenyon has the story.

For the first time in Oscars history, a Native American woman has been nominated for "Best Actress," setting up a potentially historic night in Hollywood on Sunday, that could impact the future of the award show.

Lily Gladstone has made this Oscar season more memorable by her grace.

Gladstone used the language of the Blackfeet to accept her Golden Globe award before making history when she was nominated for an Oscar as "Best Actress" for her role in 'Killers of the Flower Moon.'

"Being the first Native American nominee for this kind of blows my mind," Gladstone said.

'Killers of the Flower Moon' depicts the way the Osage people were exploited and even killed, so greedy and ruthless men could secure the oil beneath their lands.

The movie was always conceived as an epic, but director Martin Scorsese had the original script rewritten to focus it on Gladstone's character.

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The Academy Awards showered nominations on Christopher Nolan's blockbuster biopic, "Oppenheimer," which came away with a leading 13 noms.

Molly Burhart's marriage is disastrous and then deadly.

"The story that happened to her and her family is important," Gladstone said. "It's correcting a huge historical injustice to telling the story. It feels pretty immense to be a part of all it."

It's all the more remarkable when you consider the way Native Americans were shown on the big screen for most of Hollywood's history.

"I mean, you think about how Native Americans and people of color were portrayed in silent films from 'Birth of a Nation' to so many, just really terrible and racist depictions," said Vanity Fair writer Chris Murphy.

Now the hope is the film's 10 Oscar nominations are not simply a quirk of fate.

"We're creating a dialogue. That's all we wanted to do was create a dialogue about these issues, and we feel like that's happening," said 'Killers of the Flower Moon' actor William Belleau.

Belleau's career is definitely happening. He's part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as one of the actors in the limited series 'Echo.'

He told Eyewitness News entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon that watching Martin Scorsese direct Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio and all of the other actors were like "paid film school," and made him feel that he can tell his own stories now.

March 10 is Oscar Sunday! Watch the 2024 Oscars live on ABC.

Red carpet coverage starts at 1 p.m. ET 10 a.m. PT with "Countdown to Oscars: On The Red Carpet Live." At 4 p.m. ET 1 p.m. PT, live coverage continues with "On The Red Carpet at the Oscars," hosted by George Pennacchio with Roshumba Williams, Leslie Lopez and Rachel Brown.

Watch all the action on the red carpet live on ABC, streaming live on and on the On the Red Carpet Facebook and YouTube pages.

The 96th Oscars, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, begins at 7 p.m. ET 4 p.m. PT, an hour earlier than past years.

The Oscars are followed by an all-new episode of "Abbott Elementary."